Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

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Comment by Daniel W on September 22, 2017 at 11:32am

I've been looking for a broader based gardening forum for general reading and comparing notes. 

I used to use GardenWeb, but that one became way too commercial, with popups and spam, after being sold to Houzz.  Now I'm looking at helpfulgardener.com, which looks similar in attitude to the old GardenWeb.  As for issues of religion and politics, and debates in general, this is their policy:  "Religion and Politics.  HelpfulGardener respects your religious and political beliefs. Religion and politics play a major role in people's lives around the world. Because this is a forum with people from all walks of life, we request that discussions and signatures about religion or politics be avoided, this includes divisive issues such as right to life, guns and others of that kind because those topics are too personal and tend to be divisive, which works against our goal of bringing people together.

I sometimes also read and post on the GrowingFruit.org blog, but they were more argumentative and obnoxious for a while, and I gave up on that one.  They since seem to have cleaned up their act. 

Comment by Daniel W on September 22, 2017 at 10:10am

Kathy, I think your weather is more similar to mine, although you may get hotter and wetter in summer and not as much winter rain.  You have better success with Rose of Sharon than I do.  I have one scrawny one that grew from seed, and a nursery one that died after 10 years.

Randi, I imagine the Aldi tulips are as good as any!  I always liked Aldi, and it was my dad's favorite store, but they don't have it here.  I hope your SIL benefited from his trip.

Yesterday I picked apples and other fruits this weekend.  This is the first crop for some varieties of apples.  The reddest ones are Jonared, a red sport of Jonathan.  I grew that for sentimental reasons, it was an old midwest favorite that my parents grew.  I think those will go into a pie.  Some later ripening apples remain on the tree.  We also got some Asian pears - not as good this year, and my first significant crop of Italian plums, which are sweet but very dense.  The peaches are small this year, and not as good. 

This week I also cut down another of the scrub trees.  Kind of big for scrub, maybe 40 feet tall, skinny, and leaning precariously over the Dawn Redwood tree that I planted last year.  I tied a rope and pulled so it fell safely.  Still can't believe it went where I wanted it to go!  What remains of that woods-edge rehab that I started 2 years ago clearing blackberry brambles, is cutt 4 more leaning trees, and a thick layer of arborist chip mulch if I can get some.

Comment by kathy: ky on September 20, 2017 at 8:01am
I'm always surprised at the difference in temps in our various areas. We probably won't get frost until mid October. Sometimes later. Our daily temp's are still getting in the mid eighties. Nights vary from upper 70s to low 50s. With the exception of last week when we dropped to the upper 40s during a week of cold rain.
The sunflowers died during that brief spell but the elephants ears grew larger and got greener.

I pruned several rose of Sharon bushes during the spring and threw the small limbs off to the side of the bed. Now I have more than twenty new starts of them. It must be the high humidity here that let's plants start so easily.
Comment by Randall Smith on September 20, 2017 at 6:57am

Good to have you back, Daniel. I wish I could grow kumquats here.

I planted a bag of 20 tulip bulbs the other day (from Aldi of all places!) They had daffodils, too. Maybe next visit.

Joan, you might be interested to know that SIL Nate spent a week in New York state and into Canada touring vegetable farms with a group from Purdue. He said it was interesting, a mix of good and not so good operations. I'm sure he'll benefit from the experience. And I hope he'll write about the trip in his Silverthorn farm newsletter. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on September 20, 2017 at 5:56am

No frost here yet.  Right now it's 40 F, the coldest so far.  37 F is predicted for the next couple of days.

Comment by Idaho Spud on September 20, 2017 at 5:54am

Joan, I think I will put another layer of plastic around my avocado tree.  I already have posts that I can attach it to, that will keep it from touching anything else.  That will give another insulating air pocket.

Comment by Idaho Spud on September 20, 2017 at 5:51am

Interesting treatment and response of your lemon tree Daniel.  It gave me ideas about growing some trees that I desire.  

Comment by Daniel W on September 19, 2017 at 9:27pm

On lemon trees, I have a Meyer Lemon that has been in a container for 10 years.  It is dwarf, about 18 inches tall.  During the winter, I put it into an unheated sunny bedroom, and only water it if the leaves start wilting, about once monthly.  Even if it has lemons on it, they stay for next Spring.  In the Spring, I place it outside and start watering again.  We get about a dozen lemons a year.

I tried that with a kumquat, but it didn't work.  Never bloomed.

A couple of garden photos.  Peppers are doing great!  I am eating more Jalapenos than I ever did before.  The home grown are much spicier.  The cayennes are doing great, and going into a lot of meals.  The banana peppers were supposed to be yellow, not red.  Mislabeled seed packet?  Very tasty, mildly spicy, fruity.  The thai peppers might still turn red before frost, I don't know.  There is also one thai pepper plant that I grew from dried peppers from the Asian market.  Very small plant.  Very hot spicy peppers.  They are starting to turn red, very pleased!

Still getting sweet corn, slicing tomatoes, and Roma tomatoes for processing into sauce.  And the special Chinese green beans.  What a nice year, after all!

Now, my annual act of defiant optimism - planting bags of daffodil bulbs around the yard.  It takes some optimism that next year will happen, that I will be here to see it, that the weather will do the normal things, to plant something now for bloom in the Spring.  Daffodils, so far, don't get eaten by deer, unlike tulips, so they are my first choice.  In the long run, most persist and multiply, so each year there are more.  These were buy one bag / get one half off, so I got two bags.

Joan, do you let your geraniums dry out?  That's how I do mine.  I've had some last for 10  years that way.  I do like starting a few from cuttings for my bedroom window during the winter, too.  Easy in a glass of water.

My collard greens made it through last winter, and were really tasty in the early Spring.  Those plants also grew branches, with several heads of greens per plant.  Last winter it got down to 8 F here, and they were not protected.

Here, the rain started this weekend.  The air is more clear.  No more watering - yay!

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 19, 2017 at 2:16pm

We had a frost the other night that took out our geranium blossoms. I will winter the plants in our heated garage where all the water equipment is kept at just above freezing. In the winter, our drinking water is ice cold; summer water is tepid. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 19, 2017 at 2:12pm

Spud, I watched a video the other day, you know the homesteading videos I like so much. This fellow put a heavy duty plastic over his hoop frame on top of the plastic cover he already had. He is from Canada; he expected to be able to save some of the kale and spinach using this double plastic cover.

It might work for your avacado tree. 

Larry put a lemon and an orange tree in the greenhouse the first summer, expecting to have above freezing temperatures through our winter. It didn't take long for the trees to die and everything else died, even the spinach from the cold. I grow kale as a winter crop and we can eat from it longer than anything else we tried. 

We need more heat in the greenhouse and tried more solar panals, more batteries, electric, then propane heat sources and they were more expensive and the kale wasn't all that desirable. I used it for compost and it does give minerals to the pile. So, it isn't a waste of time to seed and grow and harvest it. 

Now, we just close up the greenhouse for the winter. We will try more solar panels in the future. It will take some time to find what works. We don't have enough sun in northern WA state. Colorado has more winter sun and they can make it through the winter with added heat sources. I talked to the owner of the firm that makes our greenhouse and we continue to experiment. 

Maybe, through GMO, we will be able to grow tomatoes through the winter. However, we are a GMO free family, so I doubt they would go for GMO seeds. 


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